By Grace Udofia
Several years after the Bakassi Peninsula was ceded to Cameroon, displaced returnees from the region now living in Cross River State, have cried out to the Federal Government of Nigeria to help them send their children back to school.
According to reports, the displaced persons explained that it was hard for them to afford the education of their children, both at primary and secondary school level.
Speaking on behalf of the people Head of the Bakassi Returnees in Cross River, one Ene appealed to the government to give scholarships to the children as parents can hardly afford their fees.
“The government of Nigeria has been giving us relief materials and we are grateful, but we need our children to return to school and be trained to become leaders of tomorrow.
“The present situation of the Bakassi returnees and the environment makes it difficult for the children to attend school even though education is paramount in their lives.
“We are pleading with the government of Nigeria to see how children of displaced persons in Bakassi can be given scholarships from primary to the university levels,” Ene said.
Reacting, Director-General, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Princewill Ayim disclosed that the state had about 111,204 registered displaced persons.
He added that the state does not have the resources to take care of all of them at once.
“In Cross River at the moment, we have communal clashes over land, refugees’ situation and those affected by flood, as well as other natural disasters.
“The governor has been putting in a lot of efforts to ameliorate the situation, but the number is growing everyday making the situation complex,” he said.